April'22 Message from the President

Burcin Turkkan

Skål International World President, 2022

The month of April is when we celebrate Skål International and its existence!

In 2022 we are celebrating the 90th anniversary of the beginning of the Skål movement with the formation of Skål International Paris in 1932!

As you all know, the global movement started in 1934 with the formation of the association. Skål International has been in existence for nine decades now! The principles and objectives of Skål International are defined in our Statues very clearly and beautifully:

"To foster friendship, mutual understanding, peace and solidarity among its members, promoting, in this way, the development of common interest of the communities where they are present and of the travel and tourism industry worldwide".

In year 88 of the foundation of our association, we are operating more loyal than ever to these principles. 2022 has been defined as the year of unity for our membership, emphasizing that we will always be stronger working together as one. Since January 1, 2022, your Executive Board has been working on implementing the goals set for 2022 following this basic principle. We have started 2022 with full transparency and open communication with all global Skål leaders on local, national, and international levels. As promised, as your transformational leader, I have been making every effort to meet with all leaders in Skål International world in person or via zoom. I advise all on the goals and provide information on what has been accomplished so far and what is to be achieved working together. I will continue to listen to all feedback, concerns, or proposals and create an environment where expectations can be set and achieved on realistic levels. I am happy to report that the engagement levels among our members are very high though working on committees on various projects, on club levels by welcoming new members or restarting new clubs. This does not mean we do not face any challenges; we certainly do, and that is, as I pointed out last year before AGM is, the need to develop leaders and work on succession plans. As local leaders at local and national levels are changing with the AGM’s clubs, national committees are organizing as part of their routine; it is very important to pay attention to the succession plan. I am calling all new presidents not to wait until the end of their term. Please start scouting your future leaders and team members right from the beginning of your year. Plan the future for your club today by preparing short-term, mid-term, and long-term succession plans and offering some training sessions in coordination with the Training & Education Committee we have in place.

The year 2022 continues to throw challenges on us; while working on remedies for the after pandemic on our industry members, we are now facing the war on the borders of Europe with the invasion of Ukraine by Russia. Skål International, with its membership, is showing high levels of solidarity in supporting our front-line club Skål International Bucharest on the border of Ukraine with the humanitarian support they are offering to hundreds of thousands of Ukrainian refugees crossing the borders in Europe. I want to take this opportunity to thank all Skål leaders and members who have been working so hard to support the refugees on the front lines. Also, special thanks to all Skål leaders and members executing fundraisers to support the SI Aid Committee established to financially support the Ukrainian refugees with immediate aid and long-term recovery projects after war times.

I want to end my message by leaving you with the thought of why our founders may have initiated the Skål International Chain?

What do you think the chain represents, considering our founding principles? Your cue is this year’s theme ‘We are stronger together as one'.

I wish you all a happy Skål Month!

I appreciate all the invitations I receive from you to visit your club/ country. Please be assured that I wish I could make them all happen, but I won’t be able to. The best way for us to meet all in person and celebrate Skål International and do business among friends while connecting tourism globally will be at the upcoming World Congress in Croatia, which will take place in October. Please start planning on it and submit your registrations as soon as possible.

I look forward to meeting you all in person soon.

Here is to our 88th anniversary!

To Fellow Skålleagues Everywhere!

Happiness, Good Health, Friendship, Long Life, Skål!

Always, in friendship and Skål!

Burcin Turkkan

Skål International World President, 2022